If Andy Reid stays true to his word and cuts down LeSean McCoy’s workload, that could open a huge door for another running back.
While Dion Lewis is considered the backup, rookie Bryce Brown has put his hat in the ring after a stellar preseason.
When offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was asked who McCoy’s backup is heading into the opener, he replied, “We’ll see.”
Brown was mum on the subject, saying the coaching staff hasn’t told him anything.
“I haven’t been told anything,” Brown said. “I’m just preparing as I would for any other game and if my name is called, when it’s time to go, I’ll be ready to go.”
Brown emerged as a fan favorite over the past month. He ran for 122 yards on 28 carries and a score in the preseason. Brown also showed great pass-catching ability, a must in Reid’s offense, and a good burst, as evidenced by a 33-yard sprint against Pittsburgh.
That’s all well and good, but Brown isn’t saving any press clippings. Not yet.
“I just want to continue to get better and not get caught up in all that [hype],” Brown said. “This is just beginning for me, so I look to improve each week and just get better and be consistent at the things I do well.”
Brown’s biggest challenge is learning how to block effectively. Running backs that can’t block — even ones as explosive as Brown — won’t see too much playing time here. That has been drilled into Brown from day one.
“Definitely, that’s part of this offense, too,” Brown said. “You got to protect the quarterback because we’re a pass-first team. We want to keep our quarterbacks healthy and safe all season.”
Mornhinweg has noticed marked improvement in Brown’s blocking.
“He’s a big, strong man now,” he said. “He’s bigger than people think and stronger than people think. He’s done a nice job.”
Shady says …
Brown admitted he’s picked McCoy’s brain a few times this season, getting some
advice from one of the NFL’s most dynamic running backs.
“He told me, ‘Relax, have fun, pay attention to detail and just do what got you here. Stick to the basics.’”